Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve the kids get to open one present. It is always new pjs. Then after they were all ready for bed Bear decided to read everyone a story. He chose "God Gave Us Christmas". I couldn't help but snap some pics as the kids all climbed into and around the recliner together and listened.

Thank you, God, for giving us Christmas.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Princess Zoie

My sister finally got her dog. She is tiny and spunky and crazy cute.

I got a cast iron dutch oven for Christmas and Zoie could fit inside it.

And my kids love her.

And she pooped on my floor three times the night she was here at my house. It's a really good thing she is so darn cute.

Welcome to the family, Princess Zoie. Don't forget that Aunt Bridget is your favorite, m-kay?


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some Practice Pics

*edited to add that I shoot with a Nikon D3000, 18-55mm lens.

I've been taking lots of pics with my new camera. I even got online and read up on some basic photography to try and understand things better. My favorite things to practice on?

My kiddos, of course. I did this one using the Aperture Priority setting on my camera. Basically, I'm doing a little on my own and the camera is doing a little for me. It's a step forward from taking pics in auto where the camera does is all. It's also in natural light with no flash. I haven't done any post editing so it still needs some tweaking and I still need some practice but I really like this one.

Taking pictures of subjects in motion is still a mystery for me so this pic I took on the 'sport' setting. The camera helps me out alot. And for some reason I love the shadows on the ground.

Honestly, I have no clue how I ended up getting this picture. But I love how Popeye is in focus, but the foreground and background are blurred. Fabulous.

And my precious green-eyed girl. She was resting her head on her daddy's shoulder. Love it.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Maggie Beth

My cousin, Whitney, and her husband, John, had a baby girl three weeks ago. Her name is Margaret Elizabeth. She is named after Nana. And she is precious.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snow Tubing

Sunday afternoon we got together with my Mom's side of the family for Christmas. We spent the afternoon snow tubing in Bricktown. Here's the gang getting our 'ticket/bacelets' on. Princess checking hers out.
This is my cousin Whit snuggling her 3 week old Maggie Beth.
Here's my cousin Bryce (Nana's only grandson) helping Bobo get his bracelet on. Bobo also rode to Bricktown with Bryce.
Dad and Kara waiting in line. I have other pics of the gang in line but I feel weird about posting pics of people I don't know when you can see their faces so I'm not posting any of those pics cause you can see the faces of people I don't know and I don't know if they want their picture posted. =)
Oh, how I love my mom. She rocks!
The three amigos. Popeye, Princess, and Brown Eyes. He belongs to Whit and is six months older than Princess. They are best friends.
Brown Eyes with his tube.
Popeye with his tube.
Princess with her tube.
Almost there!
Aunt Rita (Brown Eyes' Grandma aka YaYa, my mother's older sister) went first so she could be at the bottom when the kids slid down.
Then it was Popeye's turn.
Then Princess.
Then Brown Eyes.
Then Hubs went.
Then John, Brown Eyes' dad, went but I accidentally deleted the picture I took of him bc I had only opened my new camera that very morning and still wasn't at all sure of what I was doing. Sorry John!
Then I went but no one was left to take my pic and there was no way I was gonna hand my new camera to some stranger. No way.
After we slid down I went to the bottom of the big slide to try to get some pics of the other members of our group while everyone else got back in line.
This is Mom on the far right and Aunt Abby (mom's oldest sister) in the middle lane. The big slide line went much faster bc there were four lanes to slide down. So the taller folk got to slide many times while the little guys only got to slide twice bc that slide only goes one at a time and the tickets are only good for one hour and things moved much much much slower. But the little ones didn't seem to notice or mind. They were having a blast.
But back to Mom and Abby:
This is the best pic I have of Bear. He is celebrating bc he won the race. I forget who he was racing.Mom and Kara after their slide down the big slide. Mom is in focus and Kara isn't. I'm still learning, but Hubs said he liked it this way. I decided to camp out at the bottom of the little slide to get pics of the little ones sliding down. Hubs decided to camp out with me and then after a bit, Bear joined us. What else are they gonna do to pass the time? Here's Bryce again. Yes, girls, he's single. Popeye came down first. Then Princess. Then Brown Eyes. Then AJ. Then Bobo. Then Aunt Rita. And just a reminder: All these pics were taken with my new camera while the subjects were in motion! I love it!
And what do you do after a busy afternoon of snow tubing? Well, you eat ice cream of course... While the adults sit a spell... And the bigger kids admire fountains... And try to pose for mom's picture while poking and pushing each other. It was a wonderful afternoon!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fabulousness and Struggles

We just finished a weekend full of Christmas'. Great-Grandparents, Grandparents, extended family. It was wonderful. It was a whirl of activities. It was exhausting.

And now we're home for a few days to regroup and then do it all again.

Really, this post is just to share one fabulous piece of information and a struggle. First the fabulousness:

Remember this post? Or this one? Or this one? Or what about this one? Well, you will if you've been reading for awhile bc I wrote those back in the summer and fall of 2008! Yes, folks...2008! I have been wanting this camera for a LONG time. And I GOT IT!!!!

Hubs asked his parents, my parents, his sister and brother-in-law, and his nana to all go in together with him to buy it for me!!! I basically haven't put it down since Sunday morning when I opened it.

When he asked me what I wanted for Christmas I told him I either wanted the camera or money to save toward the camera and that was it! And he delivered!

I've already taken over 300 pictures. I'll post some soon.

Now, for the struggle:

Folks, we had to take two cars with us this weekend just to get all the stuff home! Seriously!?!

Now I have no place to store it and we still have two more Christmas' to do! Ugh. (in a good way) I was at Walmart last night buying groceries and storage bins and ran into a friend and we were talking about how we couldn't afford to store all the new toys the kids get. =)

Anwho...small struggle I know-just the one I'm in right now.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Life, Not Light

So, I took this picture last week when the kids were outside playing. That's Bobo on the right and Studly on the left. It was in the 50s and we (the adults) found it funny that Bobo had on long pants, a long sleeved shirt, a jacket, and earmuffs while Studly had on shorts and a t-shirt. For kicks I ran outside and snapped this pic: Then yesterday I read a post on Milt's blog and I thought of this picture. You see, Bobo and Studly are standing in the exact same temperature. It's not 40* for Bobo and 60* for Studly. It's 50* for both, yet their differing opinions are revealed in their choice of clothing. But this doesn't stop them from playing together and accepting one another.

Oh, for the Body of Christ to stop gathering together with and accepting only those that share their same opinions (like if Studly would only play with kids who also wore shorts and t-shirts in 50* weather) and to start accepting and gathering together with those who have the life of Christ no matter our differing opinions for that is the only biblical grounds we are given for accepting our brothers and sisters in the family of God.

Milt puts this so much more eloquently and fills in all my gaps. Please take the time to read his post. Once you do you will totally get the title of this post. =) And I'm sure it will stir your spirit like it stirred mine.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

Here's another activity for you and your crazies. First you need graham crackers and vanilla icing. Using a knife, cut the grahams in half. This gives you more usable grahams then just breaking them along the 'perforated' lines because so often they don't actually break straight across.

After you have six halves per house just use the white icing as glue and make a box with a triangle on top. I made ours the night before. You don't have to make them that far in advance but you do need to let the 'glue' harden before you let the crazies start decorating. At least 30 minutes or so.

We didn't have any foil to wrap the plates in, nor did we have any plain white paper plates. So I used what I had, which were princess birthday plates, but turned them upside down. I used more icing to stick the houses to the plates. One of the advantages to using white paper plates right side up is that the rim of the plate helps keep any stray sprinkles or candies from ending up all over your house.

Husband lovingly offered to go to Dollar Tree for me and buy the candy. We buy the cheap stuff for gingerbread houses. However, part of the fun of making gingerbread houses is eating the candy while you decorate them so feel free and justified in buying the better stuff.

I poured the candy into small bowls, filled the icing bag with icing, and then let the crazies at it. I will offer one piece of advice here though: We actually invited friends to join us which always makes it that much merrier, and we had Transformers on the t.v.. Well, that was two pieces of advice but whatever.

Here's our reason for the movie: We have a ClearPlay DVD player and the kids have been waiting like forever to see this movie while our clearplay was being fixed and the friends that we invited happen to own it and offered to bring it over. So, basically, I lucked upon this little gem, but with the added distraction of the movie the kids were so much better at waiting their turn for the icing bag and candy!

Some of the crazies jumped right in while others were busy watching the movie. This was NOT a bad thing.
Here is Popeye. Remember this post? Well, here he is lining up the candy in perfect little rows. I really won't be surprised if he ends up building something for his career.
I was gonna ask you to please not look at my kitchen counters, but then I realized that by asking you to not look you would absolutely have to look and so then I just decided that this is my reality and you're just gonna have to live with it. My kitchen counters get crazy dirty and cluttered sometimes. I know it's hard to believe, but now I have proof. This is my life.

See? Here is proof of the movie distraction. He's having to look around me to see it, BUT he's waiting patiently for what he needs. =)

This is Babygirl. Her mom writes a blog too and that is her nickname there so I figured "why reinvent the wheel? If it's good enough over there, it's good enough over here." She is in the same grade as Bear. They are good friends.

And this is Babygirl's big brother, Studly. He's a year older than Bobo almost exactly. They are good friends.
Princess with her house almost all done.
Princess' house.
You can never have too many sprinkles.

Popeye is done! His house was very simple and symmetrical. And his smile is more than I can handle. SO CUTE!
Studly's house. Us moms weren't sure how interested Studly would be in this activity. Not only did he participate but he actually enjoyed himself. His only disappointment was that he couldn't eat the house when he was done.

Babygirl's first house. Yep, I said first. Not because she just wanted to make two but because when she picked it up to take it home, her arm bumped the chair and it went crashing to the ground in a million cajillion pieces. Luckily, Bobo hadn't decorated his yet (he wouldn't budge from the movie) and so he let Babygirl decorate his. I still haven't made him another yet which is why you don't see any pictures of him, but I promised to remedy that today.
Bear's house. I don't have much to say except that when I see a picture of Bear smiling like that I laugh out loud. Every time. He is so much fun.

Here are the three Babione houses. They now reside on our mantle. For the last many years we have made a gingerbread house. Usually though, I buy the kits from the grocery store and we all make one house together. After the stress of last year's house with so many opinions and decorating plans I decided that we needed a different plan for this year.
What wouldn't be happening though is buying four different kits. Not only is that WAY more money than I want to spend but that is way more gingerbread house than I want to display. This plan was perfect. I only wish I could remember where I found this idea so that I could give credit where credit is due. Just know that this was NOT an original idea.

Bobo will get his done today and if I am on top of things I'll post an update with his picture later.